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    James Wharton Cements Yorkshire Dominance After Vishwa Fernando's Five
James Wharton Cements Yorkshire Dominance After Vishwa Fernando's Five
James Wharton. Source:

James Wharton Cements Yorkshire Dominance After Vishwa Fernando's Five

Yorkshire 283 for 5 (Wharton 116*, Tattersall 41*) lead Derbyshire 76 (Fernando 5-30, Thompson 4-31) by 207 runs

Sri Lankan pace bowler Vishwa Fernando spearheaded a ruthless Yorkshire bowling performance to skittle Derbyshire for 76 on the opening day of the Vitality County Championship match at Chesterfield. On a challenging Queen's Park pitch, Fernando took 5 for 30, and Jordan Thompson claimed 4 for 31 as Derbyshire subsided in less than 28 overs.

It was the third-lowest score against Yorkshire in the championship this century, and the visitors turned the screw, with James Wharton racing to a maiden first-class hundred from only 101 balls. When bad light ended play, Wharton was 116 not out and Johnny Tattersall unbeaten on 41 with Yorkshire 283 for 5, a commanding lead of 207.

Derbyshire's decision to bat first on a green pitch under cloud cover was questionable, and the hosts soon had reason to regret it as Yorkshire's seamers ran through them. Ben Coad celebrated his return from a back injury by removing Mitch Wagstaff lbw with a full-length ball in his first over, and there were signs of what was to come as he and Fernando repeatedly beat the bat.

Luis Reece and Brooke Guest managed to survive for the best part of 14 overs, but once Reece edged Fernando low to first slip, Derbyshire fell apart. Although there was enough in the pitch for Fernando and Thompson to exploit, it was a feeble batting display, with only four players making double figures.

Thompson beat Guest's defensive push, Fernando removed Wayne Madsen with an inswinging yorker, and then trapped Aneurin Donald on the crease with his next ball. Ross Whiteley survived the hat-trick, but when David Lloyd was lbw playing across the line at Thompson, Derbyshire had lost five wickets for 10 runs in 23 balls.

Rain provided Derbyshire with some respite, but after lunch was taken early, the procession continued. Whiteley was brilliantly caught one-handed at gully by Thompson, who then had Alex Thomson taken low down at third slip, before Fernando plucked out Sam Conners' middle stump with another inswinging yorker.

Zak Chappell struck some defiant blows, including a straight driven six off Thompson, who had the last word by having him caught at second slip. Derbyshire's total was the lowest at Chesterfield since they were bowled out for 57 by Leicestershire in 1989, and to have any chance of staying in the game, they needed early wickets.

Yorkshire's attack had reaped the benefits of maintaining a consistent, probing line, but Derbyshire lacked the same discipline, bowling too short or too full. By the time Reece had Fin Bean lbw, Yorkshire had reached 61 in the 13th over, and although Adam Lyth drove back a return catch to Reece, the visitors steadily pressed home their advantage.

Shan Masood produced some elegant strokes before he played across the line at Daryn Dupavillon. After George Hill and Matthew Revis went cheaply, Wharton grew in confidence to dominate the bowling. After reaching 50 off 63 balls, he pulled Dupavillon for six and launched Thomson over wide long-on for another before driving Reece for his 18th four to reach three figures.

With Tattersall, he took the game further away from Derbyshire as the pair shared an unbroken stand of 118 on a day of total Yorkshire dominance.

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